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Learn From Home

Learning resources brought to you by Tucson Unified's Curriculum and Instruction

We've provided a rich selection of free, fun online learning sources in English language arts (ELA), math, science, and visual arts to supplement your learning. These are organized by grade level. Click the grade level for your child to get started!

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How to Use This Page

This page contains a "menu" of lessons and activities for this week's learning at home. You will find the objectives: the specific skills that your child will be able to do. Then you will find a selection of lessons and activities which help your child master those skills. If you run into technical issues or other difficulties with any of these, simply move on and choose another. These activities fit into the Sample Dailly Schedule.

Please keep the following in mind:

  • Your child DOES NOT have to complete all activities listed for each subject.
  • Activities have been identified to give your child choice and variety.
  • Your child's teacher may suggest other activities more appropriate for your child.


Please email or call your teacher.

Grades 3 Ecosystems - Week Five

Grade Level: 3rd Grade (Adaptable for all grade levels)
Big Idea/Title of Lesson: Desert Landscapes
Date: Spring 2020
Duration: 3 1-hour sessions
Objective: Students learn about the desert ecosystem and create a landscape drawing showing plants, animals, and landforms specific to these regions.
State Standards Addressed: (only one standard per curriculum item)
Standard:3.L2U1.7 Develop and use system models to describe the flow of energy from the Sun to and among living organisms.
Standard for Fine Arts – Discipline: Strand 1: Create
Concept 4: Meanings or Purposes
PO 101. Select and use subject matter and/or symbols in his or her own artwork.
English Language Proficiency Standards:
ELL Stage II: Grades 1-2 Listening and Speaking

Global Perspectives:
The desert is one of the main ecosystems on the planet. Forest, grassland, tundra, freshwater, and marine are others. Desert ecosystems are characterized by small amounts of precipitation. Plants and animals living in desert ecosystems have special adaptations to help them survive. There are deserts in Africa like the Sahara, in Asia like the Gobi, and in South America like the Atacama. In our desert region there are even sub desert regions. Does the desert in Tucson look like the desert in New Mexico? Students consider what plants and animals are unique to the desert in Tucson and why. Students look at landscapes by Bob Ross and learn about how he taught step-by-step. Bob Ross hosted his painting show on PBS and was recently added to the Smithsonian. Students will understand and recognize that landscape artworks all have a foreground, middle ground, and background. They will learn that atmospheric perspective means that objects that are closer to the viewer are darker in in value (having to do with bending light in the atmosphere.)

21st Century Skills Content: (place an X before all that apply)

X Creativity/Innovation
X Problem Solving
X Health/Wellness

X Critical ThinkingX Democracy
X International Perspectives

X Communication
X Adaptability/Resiliency
X Ethics

X Collaboration/Teamwork
_ Financial & Economic Literacy
X Social/Civic Responsibility

Teacher's Role During and After Lesson
Before: Classroom teacher may talk about ecosystems/biomes with class.
During: The classroom teacher monitors student progress and guides students with their ideas.
After: The classroom teacher continues to use vocabulary from the OMA lesson to reinforce understanding of standards. May use project as jumping off point for futher discovery of ecosystems.

Colored Pencils
Cardstock for mountain stencils
Thick art paper
Hand Wipes
Planning Page

Desert- one of our planet's ecosystems characterized by little precipitation.
Landscape- a type of artwork depicting natural scenery
Foreground, middleground, background- strategically placing features behind, in the middle, or in front in a landscape to create depth
Overlapping- When one feature appears to be behind another in a work of art

Lesson Plan Design
Day 1:
A. Anticipatory Set / Activation of Prior Knowledge:
OMA Teacher uses document camera to show students a desert landscape by Bob Ross. What do they notice about the artwork? Volunteers share out. Students turn and talk to the person next to them about what makes the desert special to them. Volunteers share out with the group.
B. Teaching the Lesson:
Students receive planning page and write their vocabulary word, "Landscape." Artwork that shows natural scenery. Students draw an example of a landscape and volunteers share using the document camera. Students use planning pages to make lists and draw examples of animals and plants that live in the desert.
C. Closure / Concluding the Lesson:
Students share their plants and animals with the group using the document camera.

Day 2:
A. Anticipatory Set / Activation of Prior Knowledge:
Students whisper to neighbors about what they remember from the previous class. Volunteers share out with the group.

  1. Teaching the Lesson:

    OMA Teacher asks students to think of mountains or mountain ranges that they know (ie: Tucson, Catalina's, Rockies, etc.) volunteers share out. Do they all look the same or different? OMA Teacher uses document camera to show students how to cut or tear 3 different types of mountains out of cardstock. Student complete task.

    OMA Teacher shows students how to set up their landscape. Students should write their names on the back of their paper and flip it over. Using chalk, OMA Teacher shows students how to fill in the bottom of their paper with warm colors and the top with cool. Students complete task. OMA Teacher then shows students how to use mountain stencils to create their back and middlegrounds. Students complete task. OMA Teacher and Classroom teacher call groups up to have work fixed with hairspray.

  2. Closure/Concluding the Lesson:

    If time allows, students may walk around the room to view student progress. Alternatively, several student volunteers may use document camera to share with group.

Day 3:
A. Anticipatory Set / Activation of Prior Knowledge:
OMA Teacher asks students to repeat the word, "Foreground." These are objects in the front of the landscape that provide detail. Students reshare the special desert plants and animals that they drew on their planning pages.

  1. Teaching the Lesson:

    OMA Teacher uses document camera to show students how to use colored pencils and/or chalk to add plants and animals to their foregrounds. Students should pay special attention to the sizes of their objects and how they overlap.

  2. Closure/Concluding the Lesson:

    Students participate in a Gallery Walk and think of a compliment to share out with another student. Volunteers share out with the group. Students flip to the front of their planning pages and circle 3 Elements of Art that stand out to them in their work. Volunteers may share out an element and where they see it.

Methods for Facilitating Creative and Critical Thinking:
Problem solving, decision-making, analyzing, collaborating, and evaluating artwork throughout its creation.
Strategies for Active Participation:
Turn and talk, small group discussion, class discussions, and Gallery Walk

Strategies for Reviewing, Assessing Understanding, and Reinforcing:
OMA and Classroom Teachers check-in with students as formative assessment throughout lesson.

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